Energy for Today and Tomorrow

Alternative energy research is underway in South Dakota. The South Dakota Catalysis Group (SDCG) for Alternative Energy is a multidisciplinary cadre of researchers led by James Hoefelmeyer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of South Dakota. The SDCG conducts research on advanced catalytic materials for solar energy utilization, specifically hydrogen production and hydrogen fuel cells.

The long-term vision of this collaborative, multi-phased project is the development, through the application of nanotechnology, of a reactor in which solar energy is used to produce hydrogen and oxygen from water. Ultimately, solar energy will be converted to chemical energy, and chemical energy will be converted to electrical energy.

Collaborating Institutions/Contributors

  • The University of South Dakota
  • South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
  • Center for Research & Development of Light-activated Materials
  • Center for Accelerated Applications at the Nanoscale (Oak Ridge National Laboratory)
  • US Department of Energy
  • South Dakota EPSCoR
  • National Science Foundation
  • South Dakota DEPSCoR

About Catalysis Research

Catalytic materials increase the efficacy of chemical reactions. Catalytic processes are a major technological underpinning of modern society and are essential to the energy sector in the processing of chemical fluids from natural resources, synthesis of fine chemicals and energy conversion. Advances in catalyst technology lead to reductions in chemical waste, energy loss and costs.

Research underway by the SDCG is critical to the development of new energy technologies including fuel cells, photo-electrochemical cells and photocatalysts for decomposition of pollutants in air and water.

For more information, please contact James Hoefelmeyer, Ph.D. (